Oops! A hotel chain reports that some of the common items forgotten include teddy bears, phone chargers, pajamas, and toiletry items. But an $81,000 Rolex watch, a winning lottery ticket, and a pet python named “Monty” also ended up in the “lost and found” department. Housekeepers also found thousands of books last year – more than a third of them were E.L. James’ sexy novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
My wife recently reached in her beach bag to discover she’d forgotten a book on the nightstand at the Marriott Palm Beach Gardens in South Florida, which was conveniently located 10 minutes from the airport, but hundreds of miles away once we’d lifted off. Once we landed, a call to the hotel quickly produced the book with a friendly offer to ship it to us.
“Service has got to be good all the way from the check-in desk to how the housekeeper takes care of you and how friendly they are,” says Jeri Ann Hart, director of sales and marketing at the hotel. “You can have the nicest hotel imaginable, but if there isn’t a great service staff your experience is going to suffer.”
The Palm Beach Gardens Marriott, just off I-95 and PGA Blvd., because of its location in the Sunshine State, has to consider the service needs of both the business travelers and vacationers. “Our hotel associates look for cues from the guest upon check-in. If they notice it’s a family on vacation with children, they might present them with a bucket and pail to take to the beach. If it appears to be a business traveler, they give them a room in a different part of the hotel away from the families,” Hart explains. For instance, three of the 11 floors are concierge floors with a private lounge.
Nowadays both families and corporate executive requite access to wireless internet, which Marriott provides free. And don’t expect to be gouged by an overpriced mini-bar. Marriott Palm Beach Gardens has a convenience shop with moderately-prices. The Blue Fire Grille offered surprising quality for a hotel restaurant at both dinner and breakfast.
Cleanliness is the latest marketing push by hotels, and Hart says it starts with the landscaping and parking lot. “A ‘sense of arrival’ is one of the things every hotel is judged by, and if a hotel doesn’t care to pick up trash in the parking lot, I would be concerned about my sheets and bedding,” says Hart. “Our housekeepers are trained to clean every room for the white glove treatment.” And obviously trained to keep an eye open for forgotten items of all types!
To visit, log on to: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/pbipg-palm-beach-gardens-marriott/ or phone (561) 622-8888.
Michigan-based travel writer Michael Patrick Shiels may be contacted at InviteYourself@aol.com or via www.TravelTattler.com